Eastern Kentuckians can send Christmas gifts to kids all around the world

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Many people in eastern Kentucky have already started Christmas shopping. But what if you could shop for a child in another part of the world?

Such an experience is possible thanks to Operation Christmas Child.

The picture you see is of Prisca, a girl living in West Africa. Last year she received a Christmas gift from thousands of miles away.

"It was just wonderful to see a face that actually got that box that I had filled myself here in Hazard, Kentucky," said Rae Ann Barnett, who received a thank-you letter from Prisca that included a picture of the girl's family.

Barnett, who helps coordinate OCC operations in eastern Kentucky, sent Prisca a gift through the program last year.

"It's awe-inspiring to know that a very small gesture that I made here has touched a little girl across the world," Barnett said. "She is able to actually play with those toys and color in the coloring books and sit down and play with what I sent over there for her.

Such is OCC's mission.

You can stuff a shoe box full of candy, toys, books and hygiene products and have it shipped to a needy child anywhere in the world.

"It's something that we have plenty of, so why not share it?" said Dean Amburgey, a volunteer at the OCC drop-off station at New Hope Church in Hazard.

Church officials this year have a goal of filling 2,500 boxes.

Amburgey said, "We went for 2,100 last year and made it, so why not go 2,500?"

New Hope is located on Gorman Hollow Road. You can drop off your shoe box there or volunteer from now until Monday at noon.

Amburgey said he is confident the church will reach its goal.

"The economy is down a little bit," he said. "But that seems to be the time that everybody wants to give the most."


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